Mistrial Hearing at 9:00 AM Tomorrow – Future of Trial in Doubt

In Featured, News, NXIVM

The first day of Keith Raniere’s trial ended on an odd note with Raniere’s lead attorney, Marc Agnifilo, indicating he wanted the presiding judge, Nicholas G. Garaufis, to declare a mistrial – and a clearly miffed Judge Garaufis indicating that, if a mistrial is declared, a second trial would not start until September.

Marc Agnifilo (r) and Paul DerOhannesian (r) want Judge Garaufis to declare a mistrial in Keith Raniere’s case

Courtroom observers indicated that Agnifilo was displeased over the fact that the lead prosecutor, Moira Kim Penza, had instructed the prosecution’s first witness, a British citizen named Sylvie, that she could mention the last name of someone she was describing during her testimony.

Agnifilo apparently did not object to Penza’s instruction before Sylvie mentioned the person’s last name.

But as soon as the jury had been dismissed for the day, Agnifilo indicated to the court that a mistrial needed to be declared because of the person’s last name being mentioned.

Judge Garaufis chastised Agnifilo for not raising an objection on the matter when it first came up – and heatedly asked him if he really wanted to come back and try the case in September.

Agnifilo responded by telling the judge that he would sooner do that than proceed with a trial that was unfair to his client.


While it is known that Judge Garaufis had decided the prosecution would be allowed to question certain witnesses by their first name only, it is not known exactly which witnesses were affected by that decision (The judge’s order on that matter was filed under seal).

Presumably, the “first name only” ruling applies to all the Jane Does – and perhaps the one John Doe – who may be called to testify in the case. Whether it applied to the person whose last name was mentioned by Sylvie is unknown.

A hearing on the mistrial motion has been set for 9:00 AM tomorrow morning. At the conclusion of that hearing, the judge will decide whether to declare a mistrial.

Hell of a start to the trial…

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56 commentsOn Mistrial Hearing at 9:00 AM Tomorrow – Future of Trial in Doubt

  • A ploy To work a Plea

    Is all this amounts to – the defense realized after day 1 that Keith will be convicted.

    • Darth VanDouche

      I agree. But I think it’s because Clare Bronfman is looking stupid due to the testimony of the first witness and I imagine it will only get worse for her during the trial bringing more humiliation upon the family name. I would wager this is the main reason.

      Otherwise, the call for a mistrial over the mention of witness name is ridiculous and is obviously against KAR’s wishes not to postpone the trial where he would have stay in MDC for more months.

  • So what is this really about ?
    What is the defense up to ?
    Your honor I make a motion that we forget all about this and let Vanguard go.

  • Krclaviger,

    Thank you for the timely update. How the prosecution using a last name is grounds for a mistrial I will never comprehend..

    I guess the fix is in…….something smells really bad…..

  • If there is a mistrial, what happens to those who already plead guilty?

    • All the guilty pleas will remain in place (Those cases are already finalized). But it’s possible that sentencing for some/all of those defendants will be delayed.

    • They plead. They admitted guilt. Done deal.

  • Christine Marie


  • Someone Call the Wambulance


    What a heck of a set of babies Raniere and his lead attorney are.

    I’m sure Raniere is overjoyed by the thought of being at the YMCA, oops, MDC another four months before this trial begins.

    I’m sure the Judge will hear Marc Agnifilo objections but the trial will go on.

    Not everyone’s last name needs to be withheld from testimony. Only those whose lives will be forever tarnished by being DOS slaves.

  • The Judge can instruct the jury to disregard the last name. If AgniSTEALo had a problem with it, he should have raised a contemporaneous Objection.

    Revealing a last name should not prejudice the jury one way or another.

    Cmon Marc. That is a bit silly, no? I would think the kiddie porn pics are much more inflammatory and grounds for mistrial than revealing a last name.

  • Hajjar graduated from Columbia Law School for morons….

  • Meant Penza.

    Moira Kim Penza had screwed up at previous trials such as when she kept referring to a defendant as a mafia member even though the mafia was not even involved in the case.

    Thanks Moira……..or Moron Penza…….

    Why did you leave private practice?

    Good enough for government work Moira….

  • To All the Girls I've Loved Before Who Now Are Someone Else's Whore

    I want to apologize for being the bearer of bad news, but…

    All of my dreams about real life events have come true.

    I had a dream which showed Keith will be acquitted on ALL charges very soon. It had certain details that indicate it was a true life prediction.

    When I dreamed about certain superbowl winners beforehand, I’ve always been right.

    Thus, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but Keith will likely be going free cuz I’m almost never wrong about shit like this.

    I apologize to Frank, Claviger and especially Heidi.

    I know that Heidi really wants Keith to be punished and she’ll probably be sick with grief when Keith is set free in 6 weeks.

    Sorry Heidi, but I must speak the truth.

    The trial will go on. A mistrial will not happen.

  • This is unrelated to the post but check out this picture:


    A NXIVM member’s recent baby shower. Grace Park is there with Sarah Edmondson. So Grace Park, is both silent on NXIVM and still in contact with other NXIVM people. That is her status.

  • Nobody is going to prison. In the traditional sense of Jusse Smollet, Lori Laughlin, Michael Jackson, and the rest, the rich are exempt from laws.

  • Heidi Hutchinson

    The DOJ dropped the bomb direct on KAR’s head as fully expected. Aggie’s dropped to his knees pleading, “Hail mistrial, full of grace…”

  • Double Anonymous

    Is it possible this is Marc’s way of getting out of the trial? A mistrial would allow time for Agnifilo to leave and new counsel to be appointed. Or, perhaps Raniere will come to his senses and take a plea?

  • Marc Agnifilo….must be laughing his ass off right now.

    If we Frankreport report readers want to be mad at anyone be mad at the prosecution for asking the question and the judge.

    I feel so bad for all the victims of Raniere expecting justice….. I can not believe something so trivial and foolish causing a mistrial.

    It’s like a loophole in a boardgame’s rules………


    Seriously—- Is this FOR REAL— After a year of agonizing patience to see this trial come to life it now might be postponed—- Pinch me I must be dreaming!! Expians need closure! I thought we were finally going to find it. I guess KAR really is an abuser! An abuser of all things that fall onto his laps.

  • Simply revolting!

  • Watcher on the Wall

    The New York Times and the New York Post are reporting Sylvie mentioned the first and last name of her slave master in her testimony. It’s fair to assume this slave master is NOT a witness as last we heard from the Frank Report she made a mad dash to Mexico upon learning of the criminal investigation. Her name is Monica Duran and she was a Rainbow Cultural Garden teacher and personal flying monkey for Clare Bronfman and Loretta Garza Davila.


    Sylvie’s testimony is sick and heart wrenching. This girl has real courage.

    Shouldn’t Loretta be indicted and extradited for visa fraud- Kathy Russell plead guilty to this. Monica Duran had a fraudulently obtained “work visa” for NXIVM too. If these women think there was anything remotely consensual or legal about all this, they deserve to go to prison. Saying their first and last names in Court, while continuing to protect the last names of their victims should not be grounds for a mistrial. If that happens, it will be a bad day for justice.

    There is no way anything, not the tiniest little thing, did Keith ever do in good faith. The man epitomizes Bad Faith. Bad Faith dealings in every possible way. That will become increasingly obvious to the jury as the days wear on. Mr. Bad Faith Raniere.

    • That NY Post article is very comprehensive. Poor Sylvie.
      In my view, any revelation of a last name is not so damaging a whole new trial is needed.

    • Thanks for those links.

      I think the New York Post article probably gives a good flavor of the nitty gritty of how people were sucked into DOS, and how Raniere operated it, such as getting lots of increasingly graphic “collateral” pictures from women he hadn’t necessarily even met – which starts to sound like an obsession with pornographic images. I think it also hints at the complex issues of consent and coercion that will arise, since people (mostly women) entered into things seemingly voluntarily, and yet step by step were lead into a situation where they felt that they didn’t have a choice.

      The article also noted that the woman testifying said she’d had trouble with anorexia. I was browsing through parts of Mack’s old blog looking for something the other day, and happened to notice her writing about how food was something in her life she could control – a classic indicator of eating disorders and anorexia. I’ve wondered if Raniere particularly selected women with body image and control issues that he knew he could manipulate – and he wasn’t exactly helping them “integrate” or become empowered by exploiting such dynamics, rather than learning to overcome and not be controlled by them.

  • Crystal Ball, you have


  • So witness #1 mentions the last name of one of Rainier’s criminals Loretta Garza who ran Rainbow for Keith in the US and Clare Bronfman got a fake Visa for, and now Raniere’s lawyer wants a mistrial- WTF

    If Loretta Garza was a US citizen she might have been on the DOJ hit list for an arrest.

    What are the chances the Judge will allow the mistrial krclaviger-

    • If Agnifilo can convince the judge that the use of someone’s last name is going to be prejudicial to the defense, the judge may well grant the request. One way that Agnifilo may try to do that is by claiming that the defense was planning to call the person whose last name was mentioned as a defense witness.

  • Unfucking believable

    After reviewing the Judges ruling from a post here on the FR;

    “Judge Nicholas Garaufis also ruled that the identities of women who claim to be have been DOS slaves will be not be made public.”

    Is this for the women who are testifying or being brought up in court at all-

    Was the woman who’s last name was mentioned in court going to testify-

    Isn’t she a Mexican citizen who was here illegally on a false Visa-

    Has she ever identified has a DOS slave- Isnt that different than others speculation of her being in DOS, being a slave and being branded-

    Wasn’t she part of the Raniere crime family-

    How can this lead to a mistrial-

    • Because the judge’s order regarding the use of “first names only” was filed under seal, we have no way of knowing which victims and/or witnesses are covered by it. Presumably, it covers all the Jane Doe and John Doe victims who were mentioned in the pre-trial filings. Beyond that, we simply don’t know.

      What happened yesterday will only lead to a mistrial if Judge Garaufis determines that it will be prejudicial to the defense. But even if the judge decides to have the trial proceed, this issue will undoubtedly be an issue that is raised on appeal.

      • To All the Girls I've Loved Before Who Now Are Someone Else's Whore

        LOL. An issue like this can’t overturn a guilty verdict on appeal.

        The appeals court would have to find that if this ‘last name’ (LOL) wasn’t disclosed, Keith would have likely been found innocent. It’s a non issue, dummy.

        You should be a stand up comic.

        Yes, this issue can be used on appeal just like every other issue. But STOP implying that it’s a REAL issue YOU FUCKEN DUNCE. 🙂

  • This whole thing is so ridiculous!!!

  • In case there is a mistrial, would that mean that the case would be given to another judge-

    • If the case goes back on the “pinwheel” – which is how cases are randomly assigned to the judges in each judicial district – that could happen.

      • To Krclaviger concerning DOJ insults:

        I was a little over the diatribe on the prosecution, when read the title of the article I flipped my wig.

        If the DOJ attorneys have actually read anything I have written I profusely apologize to both women and I am sorry for being an asshole.

        • Don’t worry, the DOJ is very familiar with the fact that you said you would be on my radio show and then backed out. They ignore you as do the rest of normal people. LOL

      • To All the Girls I've Loved Before Who Now Are Someone Else's Whore

        This case would NOT go back to the ‘pinwheel’ after a simple mistrial, you IDIOT.

        The SAME judge usually handles the retrial, UNLESS there’s some unusual circumstances.

        It keeps the case moving along faster since he’s already familiar with the facts, arguments, motions.

        You RETARD.

        Go back to law school you FUCKEN DUNCE! 🙂

  • Notice how the rich always get off scot free in Amerika- Bill Cosby didn’t but then he was black. Nazis don’t like black people.

  • It’s ironic that the DOJ is the side that wanted to use fake names/first names only. The defense argued it against it and lost. The judge will probably point this out today. I think the judge reads this website and got scared like most of you and kept the disclosure limited to first names only. So much for adults stepping up to the plate and acting like adults.

  • Without necessarily being a reader of the FR, it took me 3 seconds to put a name behind the first names .. I hope that this “precaution” will apply only to witnesses because between all these pleas of culpability and now an anonymity certainly relative one would think to Club Med

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